Everyone is CO2
David James Brock
64 pages | ISBN 978-1-894987-83-7
Crafting poems that delight scholars and fanboys alike, David James Brock addresses the things that influence our private mythologies, from television to space exploration, from heavy metal to the epic of Gilgamesh. What distinguishes his work is his knack for condensed narrative, lyrical inventiveness and his use of surprising details. He brings together all his experience as a dramatist and lyricist to mine the zeitgeist and write poems sure to entertain the most discerning pop-cultural intellectual.
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Poetry Reviews (Alisa Gordaneer, The Malahat Review, 20/12/2014)
Read This, Then That: The Poetry of Science (All Lit Up, 29/09/2014)
“David James Brock brings his experience as a dramatist to his poetry — using succinct narrative and a lyrical style to surprising subject matters that run the gamut of high and low brow, from the epic of Gilgamesh to pop culture.”
Everyone Is CO2 (Michael Dennis, Michael Dennis Poet, 15/09/2014)
“I thought Everyone is CO2 was whipsmart stuff from start to end. Reading Brock is bit like a carnival you never expected to attend but enjoy thoroughly. Good poetry should make you go places you've yet to travel, it should make you squirm once in a while. Brock's intelligent dander has a take-no-prisoner appeal.”
Review (Nico Mara-McKa, This magazine, 15/07/2014)
"The poems in David James Brock's debut collection never rest, ranging in time (1959 through to 2039), place (Toronto, Stubenville, Venus), and subject (pop culture, music, the epic of Gilgamesh). Topics and themes switch a break-neck speed, united only by a sharp eye for dramatic imagery."
Review (William Kemp, (parenthetical), 21/05/2014)
“David James Brock’s Everyone is C02 is a fun book of poetry to read. That in and of itself is a feat, and you ought to read it for that reason alone.... On subsequent readings, you start to discover Brock’s talent, you appreciate his approach to language more and more, and you feel as though you’re in a conversation with him. It’s a great debut from a great poet. Read it.”
"The War Series: Writers as Readers, with David James Brock" (Grace O'Connell, Open Book Toronto, 16/07/2014)
“The poems have been described as "never resting", "fun to read" and a "combination of smart, snappy phrasing and interesting, offbeat subject matter". The collection ranges widely, touching on subject matter as diverse as the epic of Gilgamesh and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys.”
"Collaboration is a Great Motivator" (Kris Bone, The Town Crier, 27/06/2014)
"A multi-talented playwright, poet, and librettist."
Ready to Launch: Buckrider Books (Kris Bone, 21/04/201)
"An expert combination of smart, snappy phrasing and interesting, offbeat subject matter made his poems exciting to listen to. Brock’s work continues to mutate and evolve, comfortable spanning multiple genres and conceptual divides as he moves into his first full-length publication, with his poetry stronger, stranger, and more fearless than anything we’ve seen from him yet."
Off the Shelf: David James Brock (D. D. Miller, D.D. Miller's Book Shelf, 02/04/2014)
“There is a surprising range to his poetry.”
Most Anticipated: Spring 2014 Poetry Preview (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 30/01/2014)
"Due out under Wolsak and Wynn's new imprint, Buckrider Books, is Everyone is CO2 (April), the debut collection by librettist and playwright David James Brock."
I will drink this mercury, deliver a boy
by episiotomy, and the boy will make us rich.
I will raise him to embrace the scales
on his skin, to let the calluses pucker.
Should his sclera grey, he will see his steel.
Where no limb exists, no loss is felt. The amalgam
of our organs is the syndactyl hand we showcase.
I will teach him what we make of freaks,
how a forked tongue needs the frame
of a crowd’s open mouth. The bottle’s glass
is cold on my maternal lips, placing mirrors
in my blood, placing courage in the chaos of his cells.
Let his mind avoid the poison, its confusions,
bend only the body toward its costume.
We are each exhibits in the human zoo,
and only suckers show themselves for free.
So embrace my miscreation, get a ticket, get in line.
Click here for a PDF excerpt from Everyone is CO2.
David James Brock reads "Adam Yauch (Eightfold)" at the Toronto Buckrider Books launch at the Gladstone on April 16, 2014.
David James Brock is a playwright, poet and librettist whose plays and operas have been performed in cities across Canada and the UK. He is the winner of the 2011 Herman Voaden Canadian National Playwriting Award for his play Wet. Brock penned the libretto for The Sloans Project (Noise Opera, composer: Gareth Williams), which was most recently performed at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (previous: Glasgow’s 2011 Merchant City Festival, Tapestry New Opera’s 2011/2012 season). Other highlights include Sewing the Earthworm for the Canadian Music Centre Centretracks Program (Toronto, 2015. Composer: Brian Harman); Pretty Boy for the Paul Dresher Ensemble (San Francisco, 2012. Composer: Jack Perla); and the plays Centre of the Universe (Toronto, 2014) and Snow Bride (Toronto, 2014). Brock’s debut poetry collection, Everyone is CO2, was released by Wolsak & Wynn in spring 2014. He is co-creator of Breath Cycle, a multimedia operatic song cycle developed with cystic fibrosis patients that was nominated for a 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Award. He lives in Toronto. Visit his website, www.davidjamesbrock.com, and follow him on Twitter @davidjamesbrock.
Ten-Headed Alien (2018)